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During the past few years, I have begun to feel that I need to take a more active role in shaping the temporal experiences of the students in my courses; that in the process of designing a syllabus I need not only to select readings, choose topics, and organize the sequence of material, but also to engineer, in a conscientious and explicit way, the pace and tempo of the learning experiences. When will students work quickly? When slowly? When will they be expected to offer spontaneous responses, and when will they be expected to spend time in deeper contemplation?
I want to focus today on the slow end of this tempo spectrum, on creating opportunities for students to engage in deceleration, patience, and immersive attention. I would argue that these are the kind of practices that now most need to be actively engineered by faculty, because they simply are no longer available “in nature,” as it were. Every external pressure, social and technological, is pushing students in the other direction, toward immediacy, rapidity, and spontaneity—and against this other kind of opportunity. I want to give them the permission and the structures to slow down.
There has been a lot of talk about drones this week. This is a beautiful use of the technology, a unique look inside nypl’s architecture using ultralight, flying technology.
The New York Public Library is a stunning piece of architecture. Its Rose Reading Room has 51-foot ceilings and measures the length of a football field (that’s more than a Manhattan block), yet it has no columns, making it one of the largest open interiors in the world.
If you’re Nate Bolt--Facebook design researcher, amateur filmmaker, and friend of the NYPL’s skunkworks team--you get invited to fly a drone through the space. Bolt shot the video you see here using an ultralight setup--a DJI Phantom quadcopter drone loaded with a GoPro and an iPhone. That’s roughly $1,500 in equipment weighing just a bit over two pounds. It allowed Bolt to film with a god-like perspective as the camera floats over shoulders and through doorways to explore the nuance of such grand architecture.
1. Sans-serif fonts are usually more legible than fonts with serifs.
2. Avoid using a font that has characters that are too similar to one another, as this will reduce the legibility of the print.
3. Avoid using dot matrix print for critical flight-deck documentation.
4. Long chunks of text should be set in lower case.
5. If upper case is required, the first letter of the word should be made larger in order to enhance the legibility of the word.
6. When specifying font height, or accessing graphs to determine the size of a lower-case character, the distinction between “x” height and overall size should be made.
7. As a general recommendation, the “x” height of a font used for important flight-deck documentation should not be below 0.10 inch.
8. The recommended height-to-width ratio of a font that is viewed in front of the observer is 5:3.
9. The vertical spacing between lines should not be smaller than 25-33% of the overall size of the font.
10. The horizontal spacing between characters should be 25% of the overall size and not less than one stroke width.
11. Avoid using long strings of text set in italics.
12. Use primarily one or two typefaces for emphasis.
13. Use black characters over a white background for most cockpit documentation.
14. Avoid using white characters over a black background in normal line operations. However, if this is desired:
1. Use minimum amount of text.
2. Use relatively large typesize.
3. Use sans-serif to minimize the loss of legibility.
15. Black over white or yellow are recommended for cockpit documentation.
16. Avoid using black over dark red, green, and blue.
17. Use anti-glare plastic to laminate documents.
18. Ensure that the quality of the print and the paper is well above normal standards. Poor quality of the print will effect legibility and readability.
19. The designer must assess the age groups of the pilots that will be using the documentation, and take a very conservative approach in assessing information obtained from graphs and data books.
A bizarre instrument combining a piano and cello has finally been played to an audience more than 500 years after it was dreamt up Leonardo da Vinci.
Da Vinci, the Italian Renaissance genius who painted the Mona Lisa, invented the ‘‘viola organista’’ - which looks like a baby grand piano – but never built it, experts say.
The viola organista has now come to life, thanks to a Polish concert pianist with a flair for instrument-making and the patience and passion to interpret da Vinci’s plans.
Full of steel strings and spinning wheels, Slawomir Zubrzycki’s creation is a musical and mechanical work of art.